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Detoxifying with Gua Sha

Detoxifying with Gua Sha

Detoxification is a popular topic, especially this time of year. After the holidays as many people are wanting to get back on track with their healthier lifestyle, interest in detoxing increases. Detoxification is something our bodies are doing all the time without any effort on our part, but there are things we can do to help this process.

The lymphatic system and the cardiovascular system work together to help flush toxins and keep the blood and lymph moving. The lymphatic system doesn't have a "pump" like the heart that moves the blood. To move lymph fluid,  it's important to help this process along, especially if you are experiencing break outs, bloating, dry skin and fatigue to name a few symptoms.

A few ways we can encourage healthy lymph movement:

  • Exercise/walking 
  • Sweating/sauna
  • Hydrotherapy 
  • Massage/Dry Brushing/Gua Sha

Using a facial gua sha, we can work on moving lymph that gets backed up in the neck area due to the many lymph nodes located in this area. This can help with achieving clearer skin and a firmer neck.

Steps to consider before you begin: 

  1. Clean skin and apply facial oil for easy gliding of tool
  2. Always start on the neck
  3. Start on the left side
  4. Breathe as you move the tool, relax!

There are so many benefits when we use this tool. It complements any skin care routine and every skin type. The one precaution while using is do not go over active breakouts, but you can definitely use it on the neck area while experiencing acne breakouts. 

Do you have a gua sha tool? Do you find that it helps your skin? 

 

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Valentines Day Ideas for Your Partner, BFF and YOU!

Valentines Day Ideas for Your Partner, BFF and YOU!

Valentines Day is coming up and I wanted to share a few ideas for fun and unique gift ideas. Giving the gift of self-care and pampering is one of my favorite ways to show my love and I also love receiving this type of a thoughtful gift.

For Men: 

Men are not different than women in that they need to use the right products for their skin type. One thing I have noticed with the male clients I have is that like to keep it simple.

I started my husband with just one product to keep his routine super quick and simple. The REPAIR toner is perfect for soothing mens skin after shaving and keeping the skin hydrated if they are not using anything at the moment,  this is a great product to start with. 

For your BFF:

While I was single, I loved gifting my best friend or 'Gal'entine a special gift and having a fun girls night to celebrate Valentines Day.

The TREATMENT is the perfect gift to pamper your BFF and allow him or her to relax with an at-home facial! Make it even more fun and do the TREATMENT together! 

For yourself:

Don't forget about you! A special way to incorporate facial massage on yourself is to use a Gua Sha tool. Using the gua sha on a nightly basis has been an amazing ritual and I am loving the results I am seeing. 

It is always by my side when I watch TV and I love how relaxed and ready for bed I feel after using it. I also love to use this tool on my kids, they absolutely love it and request it before bed! 

Pairing this with our REBOOT restorative oil helps the tool glide smoothly and the oil has a beautiful aroma to add to the experience. 

Whether you have a partner or your single, I hope you enjoy this Valentines Day! 

 

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How Vitamin C helps Protect Your Skin and 3 Tips to See the Best Results!

How Vitamin C helps Protect Your Skin and 3 Tips to See the Best Results!

Using Vitamin C can do wonders for our skin! Here are some of the reasons this is something I never skip in my skin care routine: 

  • As an antioxidant it helps protect the skin from free radical damage which can cause skin conditions like fine lines and wrinkles and irritation.
  • Vitamin C is known for helping to promote collagen in the skin giving an appearance of a toned complexion and firmer looking skin.
  • Applying vitamin C has a brightening effect on the skin as well, making this a wonder ingredient and one worth using if you want to minimize some of the negative side effects of being in the sun. 

The reason I love vitamin C for the outdoors is because it gives a boost of protection against sun damage. 

On top of wearing your vitamin C serum in the day time, sun protection is a must! In fact, it has been proven that the efficacy of SPF is enhanced when wearing a vitamin C with it. 

The one thing that helps vitamin C work so well? Using it consistently. Using a vitamin C here and there will not be as effective, make sure you are using 1 or 2xs a day to see the best results? 

Do you use a vitamin C on a daily basis? 

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3 Reasons to Wash Your Face Before Bed!

3 Reasons to Wash Your Face Before Bed!

I have been talking to my clients about how they struggle to cleanse their face each night. At the end of a long day of work, watching the kids or whatever is on their plate, most people just want to crash in their beds for the night. 

I want to encourage you to take this opportunity to treat your skin before bed with three reasons why it is a good idea. I will also give you a few tips on how to get this step in before you are just too tired to do so! 

 

  1.  We don't want to let makeup and dirt clog our pores. This is the most obvious reason for cleansing nightly. We need to remove makeup but also don't forget there is bacteria from touching our face, using a cell phone and whatever sticky thing was on your kids hands when he touched you! The dirt and debris from the environment is there even if we can't see it.
  2. Our skin repairs at night, it's the best time to treat our skin concerns. If we are not cleansing our skin, we are not using our treatment products. If you have dryness for example, using your hydrating products at night when the cells are regenerating is the time to treat. You can start seeing real results this way. 
  3. The delicate eye area can be irritated, maybe even with infections and lashes can be damaged if makeup is not removed. This is an area we need to be careful with and removing the mascara and eye shadow is key for keeping this area healthy and clear. Lashes can even break off if mascara is not removed on a consistent basis. And just think of your nice clean pillows:)

 

Hopefully these three reasons help motivate you to take the time to get your nighttime cleanse in! But there is still the issue of not wanting to take the time when you are just too tired to be bothered. I like to suggest taking time in the evening, just five minutes, to excuse yourself for you time and get your routine in before bedtime. 

For me personally, I deal with being exhausted before bed too. So I started to perform my skincare routine right after dinner so I wasn't waiting until right before bed. I am also in the habit of doing this step for over 20 years, to me not washing my face would be like not brushing my teeth. So I can say it does become a habit if you stick with it! And if you are not doing this regularly, watch the difference in your skin if you stick to this simple habit! 

I would love to hear from you, is this something you have made a habit in your life or are you still struggling to get your nightly cleanse? 

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Repairing the Skin Surface, What You Need to Know to Protect Your Skin!

Repairing the Skin Surface, What You Need to Know to Protect Your Skin!

Today I want to share a simple breakdown of what the skin barrier is, how we can damage the barrier and finally what we can do to protect and repair it! 

We (mostly) all know that our skin is our largest organ of the body. Our skin acts as a barrier and is meant to protect and regulate temperature from the environment. The stratum corneum is the outer most layer of the epidermis, this is the layer of skin we are able to treat with skin care products.

What is it?

As you can see in the diagram 'the layers of the skin', there are three layers of the skin. In skin care we can only treat the epidermis or the top layer. The barrier of the skin helps prevent harmful particles getting into the body and also preventing evaporation from the skin or transepidermal water loss (TWL) 

How do we damage the barrier? 

Environmental exposure such as sunlight/UV exposure, blue light from screens and even stress can lead to barrier damage. Over-exfoliation is a huge problem with barrier irritation and damage as well. Signs you have damage can include:

  • flakiness
  • irritation
  • redness
  • increased fine lines 
  • acne breakouts 

How can we protect and repair??

  1. Add in Hyaluronic acid! This is crucial for preventing moisture loss on the skins surface because it binds water to the skin. It is great for all skin types and it helps protect. One of my all time favorite ingredients! 
  2. Wash your skin at night but don't over-wash and exfoliate with harsh products. *One tip I have is wash your skin when you get home or early in the evening. This way you don't wait until you are too tired before bed! 
  3. Get outside but protect your skin! This means, wear a hat, wear your SPF and make sure you are using antioxidants to protect from uv damage

I hope this helps and is simple enough to get the basics of how to keep our barrier protected. Once we have a damaged barrier our skin can not look its best and is susceptible to many unwanted skin conditions. Let me know if you have any questions! 

 

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3 TIps on How to Liven up Your Skin After the Holidays!

3 TIps on How to Liven up Your Skin After the Holidays!

It's the first official week back after winter break for most of us. This time of year people are ready to get back to a normal schedule, and clean up some habits that may not be serving them. A more regular routine, a New Year goal, saying goodbye to sugar etc. Many of my clients will experience problems with their skin and ask my advice on what can help with this. I have 3 tips that I personally do after the holiday craziness (although it wasn't too crazy this year thanks to Covid) 

Some of the complaints I hear of include breaking out, dark circles under the eyes and overall dullness. Below are different actions you can take to bring the life back to your skin!

Dull Skin: 

  • Improve Dehydration! A lot of the time when your skin feels dull and lackluster, it is dehydrated. A lot of the time during the holiday break people are consuming more dehydrating foods and drinks (sugar and alcohol for example). Increasing your water and hydrating liquids and cutting back on sugar can help with this.
  • Being consistent with topical hydrating products is key. Not using them daily is going to prevent you from getting the best results.
Breakouts:
  • Over doing the sweets can at times lead to breakouts as well. Not cleansing your skin at night, stress hormones and mask wearing can all lead to acne breakouts. I love to take time in the New Year to up my self care game. Baths with calming music/candle, movement and spending time outside are some of my favorite ways to relax and pamper myself. 
  • You can add a clay based mask to helps pull impurities out of the skin and help soften it at the same time. 

Dark Circles/Puffiness Under the Eye Area:

  • This is so common! Many times the holidays can be a time of interrupted sleep and exhaustion. This can especially impact the eye area in a negative way. (There are those who have genetic dark circles, unfortunately there is not much we can do in skin care with this but we can work on the other type.) I love to use my facial Gua Sha on this area, it makes a huge difference! Gently glide the stone under the eye area, the natural coolness of the stone is helpful for the puffiness as well. *I just posted a quick video on  instagram if you want to see a visual.

I hope these tips are helpful, if you have questions about a skin concern I didn't address please let me know below! Taking time to treat yourself for an at-home facial like the TREATMENT facial kit is perfect for improving your skin and getting self-care in at the same time, winning! 

 

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Got Acne? You are not alone!

Got Acne? You are not alone!

I have been hearing many more people talking about acne breakouts this year than in the past. I want to talk about what causes us to breakout and what we can do about it. 

Globally we are experiencing a pandemic, hello 2020, thanks for bringing allllll the stress! Stress impacts our hormones, causing our sebaceous glands to produce more oil. This in turn can lead to clogged pores and breakouts. 

Another reason some of us are breaking out is because of the facial masks we are wearing. Unfortunately, wearing a mask can lead to breakouts because bacterial buildup, irritation from the mask rubbing on the skin and sweat/debris clogging the pores. "Maskne" as it is referred to, is experiencing acne around the area on our face where the mask is worn. There are a few things we can do to help minimize this such as: 

  • Washing your reusable mask each time its worn
  • Washing your skin before putting on the mask 
  • Using a toner right after you remove it that is hydrating and antibacterial
  • Using ingredients like Hyaluronic acid to protect the skin while wearing the mask

Although my line isn't targeted for acne and breakouts, I have seen great results from my clients who are dealing with this. I have clients who have thought the only way to treat acne is to be aggressive, overly exfoliate and strip the skin to remove the oil. After trying a more gentle approach and using products that help heal they have seen amazing results!

Here are a few tips for treating breakouts that might not be what you think:

    1. Hydrate! Yes it seems like that would make it worse but hydrating the skin with water based ingredients will help balance the skin helping it to not overproduce oil
    2. Use Anti-inflammatory ingredients-Soothe the inflammation with calming ingredients such as white tea, arnica and lavender. 
    3. Add in an ingredient to help heal and protect the skin barrier like Hyaluronic Acid. This will help protect and soothe at the same time. 

Throughout the Simply Jess line I am happy to say we have been able to help heal many skin conditions with this more gentle and natural approach. Acne has been no exception! Have you experienced breakouts more than normal this year? What have you done to help this issue?

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3 Reasons to Use a Toner!

3 Reasons to Use a Toner!

This week we are talking about toner! I have been using a spray toner for over 20 years, this has been one of my favorite steps in my skin care routine. The thing I love about toner is that you can use it throughout the day and it enhances the other steps in our routine.

Toner has been one of the most asked about products as well. Many of my clients did not see it as a major player in skin care and did not use it. They did not understand the function of toner and what the point was! Today I am going to highlight three reasons I love toner and how to use it!

  1. Use toner to complete the cleansing process. 

After cleansing the skin, you can tone to make sure your makeup is fully removed by spraying toner onto a cotton round and swiping all over your skin.

     2. Spray toner before you apply your treatment products.

Treatment products and serums are best absorbed when the skin is damp. It acts as a delivery system for the treatment step. A spray toner is best used right before the serums are applied for best results.

     3. Apply toner to set your make-up.

A great way to help your make-up looking its best all day is to set it with a toner. This keeps your make-up looking fresh and skin looking hydrated. 

 

My facial toner REPAIR, was the first product I came out with for the face because I have been such a fan of toner! I added lavender floral water as its base so I could have a relaxing element added. I love to use this throughout the day, keeping it at my desk or taking it on the run. It keeps my skin hydrated, protected from the elements and me feeling calm! 

Do you use toner? What is your favorite benefit you see? 

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Self Care 101!

Self Care 101!

The phrase self care has been going around a lot this year. I think in stressful times it is easy to forget to take care of ourselves and 2020 has been filled with struggle and challenges for many of us. 

Self care is taking actions that help promote our physical and mental well being. I think it is important to note this looks different for everyone. I see some people consider a pedicure self care and for me personally it is something I hate to do! (I know that seems weird, and now that we are locked down in California I could really go for one right about now!) 

I think of self care as something to do when you need to re-charge, re-energize and bring joy. Some of my personal favorite self care activities include:

  • Sitting on the couch and reading a book
  • Applying a facial mask and using my gua sha tool
  • Exercising
  • Meditating 
  • Talking to a friend
  • Going to the beach
  • Sleeping! 

Why is it hard to do?

I know getting self care time can be a challenge for many of us. Are you a mom? Well, you know all too well that having time for yourself can feel selfish, I mean can't you use that time to be vacuuming?? Many moms struggle taking the time for their self care, they think they could be doing something else with that time. I am so guilty of this. 

Another reason could be that during times of stress it is easier to lean into the instant gratification activities to take our mind of the stress (too much social media, drinking to take the edge off, eating a batch of cookies. Raise your hand if you are guilty of any of these!) I think that is why it is helpful to schedule in time to take care of yourself. I will take a bath tonight at 7pm when my kids are watching a movie for example. But the bottom line is, you know it's self care and not self destruction if you feel refreshed after and not more stressed, guilty or depressed!

Self care is such a great tool in times of stress, anxiety and this year has been full of that this year. What are some ways you incorporate self care? Let me know in the comments below! 

 

 

 

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The Experts Are Wrong!

The Experts Are Wrong!
We have all heard tips from the experts in skin care. So many rules for our skin care routines and many times these tips have become the skin care "law" you feel like you need to follow. Today I want to play devils advocate with 3 tips I hear over and over. I don't always agree with some of the expert advise out there so I am going to break a few things down. 

RULE #1

You have to wash your face every morning!


This is something I used to teach to spa staff as an educator, you have to wash your face twice a day. I think this rule depends on a few things. If you are super dry, washing your skin the night before and utilizing a great skin care routine, then I don't think you need to wash your face every morning. It also depends on what your morning routine is. Personally, I wake up and workout before I take a shower. So if I washed my face first thing that would mean I am washing my skin 3 times a day. That would be too drying for me because I already lack the oil and its a waste of my products.
However if you are oily and accumulate oil overnight, you will want to wash your skin to prevent clogging. And it goes without saying, if you didn't wash your skin the night before you most 
definitely need to wash first thing in the AM.

​Another cleansing myth is that you have to double cleanse. If you wear a ton of make-up this can be helpful but typically if you use an effective cleanser and have a good skin cleansing method, you will be good to go with one wash! I know this may seem controversial in this industry because we have been told to double cleanse. 
 
RULE #2

Retinol is the best anti-aging product and you need to use it every night if you have aging concerns. 


"All the celebrities are doing it"! Well it's true, retinol is amazing for many skin types! But not all. It is not the holy grail for all people. I have clients that have broken out from retinol and others that have been sensitized. I have also have seen it work for others. If you think you need to use this but it is causing problems for your skin, don't use it! There are other alternatives such as exfoliating a few times a week to help with cellular turnover.

RULE #3

The longer you leave your facial exfoliator or mask on, the better it is working.

I have heard from clients that have left their exfoliators on too long and actually burned themselves. Always follow the suggested directions on the box so you don't over do it. Again, more is not better *more time, more product, more days. In the skin care world, over exfoliation is so common, don't fall into this trap. It can negatively impact your skin. Also don’t let your clay masks fully dry, sprtiz with water or a toner so your mask stays moist and you are not irritating your skin during removal.

This goes back to my skin care philosophy, every one is unique. We can't use blanket statements because every skin is different and every person is different. Some people like to spend three hours in the bathroom getting their self-care on, you go girl! Others need quick and simple because when it gets complicated they give up. There is no one size fits all here do what's best for you! Don't let these so called experts judge or shame you. If in doubt ask me a question, I am happy to bust any myths that are going 
around! 

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